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Would you civil union me?

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  • Marion Leturcq

    ()
    (CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - INSEE - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris)

Abstract

Although the tax system is not marriage neutral in many countries, it has been found only slightly significant in determining marriage decision (Buffeteau and Echevin, 2003; Alm and Whittington, 1995). This paper tests if the tax system could alter the decision to contract a civil union, which is a less binding marital contract. In France, since 1999, couples can either contract a marriage or a civil union (pacs). I assess the impact of taxation on the decision to contract a pacs using a difference-in-differences evaluation of the 2005 reform of income taxation of newly pacsed couples. As the control group is contaminated by the reform, I propose an original estimation method based on a difference-in-differences-in-differences setting to estimate bounds to the impact of the reform. My results suggest a positive and increasing impact of taxation on pacs rates, but also a change in the timing of pacs indicating that taxation alters the decision to contract a pacs. I find a slightly significant impact of taxation on the decision to break up a pacs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00628642.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00628642

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Keywords: civil union; taxation; marriage; pacs; difference in difference;

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References

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  1. Mircea Trandafir, 2014. "The Effect of Same-Sex Marriage Laws on Different-Sex Marriage: Evidence From the Netherlands," Demography, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 317-340, February.
  2. Niko Matouschek & Imran Rasul, 2008. "The Economics of the Marriage Contract: Theories and Evidence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(1), pages 59-110, 02.
  3. Steven Stern & Michael J. Brien & Lee A. Lillard, 1999. "Cohabitation, Marriage, and Divorce in a Model of Match Quality," Virginia Economics Online Papers 322, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  4. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2007. "Marriage and divorce: changes and their driving forces," Working Paper Series 2007-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. Steffen Reinhold, Ph.D., 2009. "Reassessing the Link between Premarital Cohabitation and Marital Instability," MEA discussion paper series 09178, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  6. Christophe Hurlin & Valérie Mignon, 2006. "Une Synthèse des Tests de Racine Unitaire sur Données de Panel," Post-Print halshs-00078770, HAL.
  7. Wolfers, Justin, 2003. "Did Unilateral Divorce Laws Raise Divorce Rates? A Reconciliation and New Results," Research Papers 1819, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  8. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Alm, James & Whittington, Leslie A, 1999. "For Love or Money? The Impact of Income Taxes on Marriage," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(263), pages 297-316, August.
  10. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 11-26 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Hector Chade & Gustavo Ventura, 2005. "Income Taxation and Marital Decisions," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(3), pages 565-599, Juky.
  12. Alm, James & Whittington, Leslie A., 1996. "The Rise and Fall and Rise ... of the Marriage Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(4), pages 571-89, December.
  13. Alm, James & Whittington, Leslie A., 1997. "Income taxes and the timing of marital decisions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 219-240, May.
  14. Sophie Guérin & Élise Amar, 2007. "Se marier ou non : le droit fiscal peut-il aider à choisir ?," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 401(1), pages 23-37.
  15. François Legendre & Florence Thibault, 2007. "Les concubins et l’impôt sur le revenu en France," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 401(1), pages 3-21.
  16. Leora Friedberg, 1998. "Did Unilateral Divorce Raise Divorce Rates? Evidence from Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 6398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
  18. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1.
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Cited by:
  1. Effrosyni Adamopoulou, 2012. "Peer Effects in Young Adults' Marital Decisions," Economics Working Papers we1228, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.

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